10 DEcember 2009 – The European Investment Bank (EIB) has allocated a €300m ($443m) loan for the BritNed Interconnector, a subsea link being built to connect the power grids of Britain and the Netherlands.
The loan will cover 50 per cent of the cost of the project, which is a joint venture between National Grid and TenneT, the respective operators of the British and Dutch grids.
BritNed’s HVDC cables will run 256 km between Rotterdam and the UK’s Isle of Grain, with a capacity of 1 GW. Power will be transmitted in both directions, driven by price differentials and varying demand patterns between the two energy markets.
ABB, which is providing the cable itself, awarded UK-based Global Marine with a contract in early 2009 to undertake the offshore cabling work. Global Marine’s long-standing Dutch collaborator Visser & Smit is handling the onshore cabling elements.
Offshore work began during the summer of 2009, and is set to conclude by late 2010. The first electricity will be flowed from early 2011, and is expected to reduce energy prices in both countries.